Should you charge your EV every day?

Easee One review
  • No, you don’t need to charge every day unless your mileage dictates so
  • Charging when you don’t need to is a sign of range anxiety
  • Batteries are rated for a certain number of charge cycles, so the more you charge, the faster the degradation (although this probably won’t be an issue during your ownership anyway)
  • It is good practice to drive your electric car until it hits around 20% and then top up

How often do you charge your EV? Some people charge every night, while others run down a full charge to 20% before plugging in. While both practices are common, should you charge your EV every day?

The short answer to the question is no. Charging your EV every day is a sign of range anxiety. There is no need to charge your EV every day if you don’t need maximum range – all you will do is increase the number of times you charge your car!

There’s also a practical reason why charging your EV every day is bad – battery cycles. The more times you charge, the more cycles you create.

Battery cycles degrade the battery, so the fewer charging cycles you do, the better for long-term battery health. However, as we discussed in our article on battery lifespan, EV batteries last around 200,000 miles before they become inefficient. 

When to charge up

Treat your electric car like you treat your smartphone. When it’s at 20% battery you should probably charge, but when it’s at 80% there’s no need.

If you’re at 50% battery, look at the range estimate, deduct 20 miles for unforeseen events on the road, and work out if you have enough range for the day.

Topping up above 20% is the norm, but your charging behaviour will be largely dictated by the kind of trips you take.

How you charge is also important

The final 20% charge in an EV’s battery is the most damaging to the battery cells, producing A LOT of heat. This is one of the reasons why DC charging stations cut charging speeds at 80%, slowing down the charging process

To extend the lifespan of your battery, it’s good practice to only charge to 80% when you can and not let your battery go below 10%.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that EV’s store electrical energy in their batteries, so they don’t need charging when they hold sufficient charge for your journeys. If your EV has sufficient range for your journeys, save charging until you need it.

Overall, electric vehicles don’t need charging every day, and they can hold energy for months at a time.

Smart chargers to consider

If you have off-street parking, charging at home is the easiest way to charge. A smart charger lets schedule charging and integrate your EV tariff for cost tracking.

Consider these top picks:

  • Wallbox Pulsar Plus – the smallest smart charger we’ve reviewed with a good app, scheduling and 7.4kW charge speeds. Read our Wallbox Pulsar Plus review.
  • Sync EV charger – another small option that’s even cheaper, this charger has RFID and an LED status ring. Read our Sync EV charger review.
  • Easee One – the most handsome charger we’ve reviewed, the Easee One ticks every box and is one of our favourites. Read our Easee One review.
  • Indra Smart PRO – our joint-highest rated charger, the Indra Smart PRO is available tethered and untethered. Read our Indra Smart PRO review.

Image credit: Tesla.

Alfred drives a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus but has his eye on a fully-electric pick-up truck. He'd love an electric Ford Ranger, which should be a real thing in a few years!